Page Count: 452
Format: Paperback, Audiobook
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Diverse
Blurb as on Goodreads:
Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.
But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…
The moment I found out what Enchantée is about, I was sold! I needed to read this YA Historical Fantasy Fiction set in France in 1789. So grateful to PanMacmillan India for this gorgeous copy.
The first chapter started off on a high note and I was hooked, mesmerized by everything that was happening. The plot develops quite gradually – slowly – but in a good way. I was so glad there wasn’t too much of an info dump right off the bat. Instead, we get to know the main character, her family and other side characters – their problems, hopes and goals, their motivations and fears.
I loved the story for the most part. Getting to experience Paris, the Palace of Versailles and in that time period was one of my absolute favorite parts of the story. I also liked how magic was woven into the story. On the one hand, it can help Camille get through the day and provide for her siblings but on the other hand, it also has a price and can easily harm and destroy or put a target on your back.
I just had a bit of a problem with the pacing and the length of the book. I enjoyed the plot twists and the undercover con vibes – but things seemed to resolve too quickly towards the end without proper punishment or justice or taking the time to savor the turned tables. I wanted just a little bit more over the top drama. Things were tied up too abruptly and lightly at the end, for my taste.
I did love the slow-burning romance, though I wish there had been more romance, in general.
The writing was lovely, easy and fun – the audiobook was great too! I especially loved the random French phrases that were sprinkled throughout the story – made me so nostalgic! I’ve always had a love for the French language and it gave me great pleasure to read this book and connect with the story and the magical and atmospheric writing.
The main character, Camille, is brave, loyal, protective, caring and very strong. For most of the book, I really liked her – how she was willing to do anything for her siblings, then stood up for herself when she needed to. At great personal risk and cost, she used magic to disguise herself and participate in games at court. I honestly don’t know if I would have survived more than a few days in her place – magic or no magic!
In the matters of the heart though, she comes across quite naive and scared and that annoyed me a little. It’s good to be cautious and all but she was constantly doubting everything to the point that she was in denial of what was right in front of her.
The romantic interest is charming and sweet and also trapped in a seemingly impossible situation like Camille. His father is French and his mother is Indian, and he’s had to deal with a lot of discrimination and snide comments etc. But he’s wonderful and I just liked their chemistry so much! Another character I really liked is Chandon, but I won’t say why!
18th Century France right before the start of the French Revolution – it’s such a fascinating time period for me to read about and I loved everything about it! The growing unrest among the ordinary folk, the hatred for the nobility, the simultaneous need for and fear of magicians. It was AMAZING!
Overall, I really enjoyed the story. I was definitely enchanted with the plot, the setting, the characters and descriptions etc. And since I’ve heard that there will be a sequel, I’m even more excited! I can’t wait to follow my favorite characters and see what happens during the revolution when there’s la magie involved!
Fans of Historical Fiction Fantasy, slow-burning YA romances, France or the French Revolution.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Such a long, rambling review, I know! I was just so happy to have read this book and had a lot to say. Have you read Enchantée yet? Are you planning to? What did you think of my review? Let me know in the comments below!